Also about a tough lady detective, The Fall is everything that Top of the Lake was not: Calm, organized, and potent. Top of the Lake burned through so many potential plots to fill out its running time that things eventually stopped registering; why should I care about this development when it may never again be mentioned? (And don’t get me started on Holly Hunter playing Jane Campion herself as the repository of all female wisdom.) But in The Fall, everything matters. Even little things that might seem like character exposition, such as Anderson’s Stella Gibson approaching a fellow cop and introducing herself with the name of her hotel and her room number, will actually directly affect the rest of the series (only five parts!).
Gibson has been sent to Belfast to check on the shoddy investigative work on a recent murder, and boy, is it shoddy: So shoddy, in fact, that no one on the case has realized it’s a serial killer’s second killing. A third follows in short order, and Stella doesn’t want to twiddle her thumbs until a fourth.
There’s that weird thing that detective shows do, where the lead always has an almost psychic power to peer into the killer’s mind, but Anderson always makes it seem as if she and the killer were cosmically connected (without making you think of phrases like “fate” or “destiny,” which are the lot of critics).
Oh, also? The serial killer looks like this:
The whole series is available to stream on Netflix. If it’s a toss-up between Campion’s gorgeous but hollow Top of the Lake or The Fall, won’t you please choose The Fall? And then we can talk about red nail polish and ceiling hideaways and jogging naked in place to gear up for murders all day long.